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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

A letter to the Editor from President Robert Oden

< the Editor,

The start of the 2010 calendar year also signals the start of the legislative session at the Minnesota state capitol in St.Paul. The future of the Minnesota State Grant is one major topic before state legislators this session and is an issue of great importance to Carleton students. This program reaches 84,000 college students statewide, including 118 Carleton students who receive this grant which is aimed to aid low and middle income families. Minnesota residents at any college or university in the state of Minnesota can utilize this program.

The reason I write this today is because need based financial aid is at the heart of Carleton’s values. The Minnesota State Grant Program is projecting a $42 million deficit over this biennium, ending in June 2011.  Our office of student financial services reports that Carleton received from this program a total in 2009 10 of $457,240.  Assuming a five percent spending rate, Carleton would need an additional endowment of $9 million to replace those dollars.  So while this program benefits only Minnesota students directly, it is important to recognize that the funding helps all students on financial aid by freeing up dollars to apply to other grants. This is where all of us can get involved.

The Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC) is sponsoring its annual “Day at the Capitol” where students can go and meet with legislators and lobby to keep the Minnesota State Grant at current funding levels. Carleton’s designated day is Wednesday, February 24. Our office of media and public relations will provide transportation to and from St. Paul, with lunch and training coming from our friends at the MPCC. 

If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference in keeping this important financial aid program intact, please come to the informational session on Wednesday, February 17, at 5 p.m. in Leighton Hall 304, or sign up for the Day at the Capitol event at 

Thank you for considering ways in which you can help sustain financial aid resources at Carleton.

Rob Oden

-Rob Oden is the President of Carleton College

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